Current Research in EEPS: Ginny Catania, University of Texas at Austin
Geometric controls on outlet glaciers in Greenland
The terminus region of marine-terminating outlet glaciers represents the regions where the ice sheet, ocean, and atmosphere all act together through a suite of processes to impact glacier behavior. Several mechanisms have been identified that can cause terminus retreat, however the long-term impact to glacier dynamics has not been well understood. In part, this is because not all glaciers behave the same after a terminus perturbation; some glaciers undergo significant retreat and thinning and others do not. In this talk I explore the role that fjord and glacier topography plays on the dynamic response of outlet glaciers to terminus perturbations by examining the topography both at the glacier terminus, and inland, where it can impact how thinning spreads into the ice sheet interior. This reveals that topography plays an important role in controlling the total sea-level rise from marine-terminating glaciers over the next century and we identify smaller glaciers that have a high potential to contribute to sea-level rise because their topography will allow thinning to spread far inland. Additionally, heterogeneous patterns of glacier geometry around the Greenland Ice Sheet are to a large degree responsible for the observed, modern heterogeneity in glacier dynamics.
Event will be hosted as a webinar.